Thursday, March 04, 2004

Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light™, Writer of Dreck™, Architect of Doom™

Thomas Kinkade Painter of Light™, the colossus who bestrides the mass produced Christian mall art market, has metastasized into the field of literature, among other things.
Not content to ruin one art form, the creator of the Precious Moments/Beanie Babies of wall hangings and throw pillows is now trying his hand at writing.

As a librarian, I’m taking this personally.

If you’re not familiar with his ‘artwork’, he paints excessively quaint, inspirational scenes that make Norman Rockwell’s work look like that of Francis Bacon in comparison. He is an industry unto himself, and has his syrupy and acquisitive tendrils in an ever expanding array of markets, even a gated housing community. Instead of inspiring me to be sweet and devotional, his work makes me want to do something violent and depraved. Or debase myself in some unspeakable way.

Take hope, though – it looks like he has overextended his business empire and he's about to declare bankruptcy. My faith is restored in capitalism - the market does eventually correct itself from certain outrages.

Unfortunately, his recent business troubles haven’t affected his book publishing schedule, which has the same relentless frequency as The New Yorker. He’s already churned out 4 in two years, and he brings the same monstrously cheerful sentimentality and insipidness to his writing that he does to his painting.

Look how some reviewers on Amazon are having a bit of fun with Kinkade and his fans. These are excerpts from reader reviews for the first book in Kinkade's Cape Light series, which has absolutely nothing to do with lesbians or homosexuality in any form.

A powerful Lesbian novel, March 18, 2002
Reviewer: sarah from Denver, Co.

Thomas Kinkade has crafted a touching, original novel about an older gay woman who is the mayor of a small Massachusetts town, and the rich (emotionally) people who inhabit the town. The gay mayor's sister comes to town so the two can take care of their ill mother. What I liked about this book was the "normal" way in which a gay person is "painted."

Good portrayal of gay life in a small town, April 18, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Noe Valley, San Francisco

Thomas Kinkade skillfully weaves a novel of gay life in a small New England town. Emily, the lesbian mayor, is under attack from Charlie Bates, who plans to oppose her in the upcoming election because he disagrees with her sexual orientation. But Kinkade shows us the errors of Bates, who is blind to the fact that his own wife, Lucy, is also gay, even though she runs the local restaurant, cleverly named "The Clam Box."

A little slice of life in a small town, July 31, 2002
Reviewer: A reader

Kincaid captures the slightly hidden lifestyle of a lesbian in search of a fulfilling life. That rascal is quite subtle, but I think everyone will get the "real" message from this painter of light. I highly recommend it to anyone needing a glimpse into "another side of the light" BRAVO!

Read on as the sincere and legitimate fans of Thomas Kinkade indignantly try to refute the claims about the mayor being a lesbian....

"As far as the lesbian mayor - that is so far off base that it doesn't really deserve a comment - but I am going to do it anyhow. First of all the mayor was married and in love untill after two years her husband was killed - I think there are unresolved emotions there. She also had a child. (sorry hope I don't ruin it for anyone.) I think her and the editor of the newspaper will end up getting together. Secondly - Thomas Kinkade being an upstanding, outspoken Christian - would never write about lesbians. There are enough perverts in the world to do that. "

NOT about lesbianism!!, September 28, 2003
Reviewer: tdmac54 from Cody, WY United States

I don't know where Sarah from Denver got the idea that this book has ANYTHING to do with lesbianism!! It most certainly does not. It is about two sisters, one of whom is the mayor of their hometown, but she was widowed as a young mother. This book, in no way, implies that she's a lesbian. If you have any doubts, read the following two books in the series. I seriously doubt if Thomas Kinkade, a devout Christian, would write a novel that has anything to do with homosexuality, which the Bible says is an "abomination to God". Anyway, the book is enjoyable entertainment, and I found I wanted to read the sequels to find out what happens with the characters next.

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